UPDATE 4-Advancing resources power Toronto stocks higher

Mon Feb 11, 2008 5:15pm EST
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By Leah Schnurr

TORONTO Feb 11 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index kicked off the week with a triple-digit gain on Monday, propelled higher by robust resource shares amid climbing commodity prices.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up for the third day in a row, gaining 141.58 points, or 1.09 percent, to 13,130.92 with seven of its 10 main groups on the upside.

The energy and materials sectors, which combined make up about 40 percent of the index, added 2 percent and 1.8 percent respectively as oil and gold prices advanced.

EnCana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote) rose C$2.44 or 3.6 percent, to C$69.69, and Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) was up C$2.00, or 2.1 percent, at C$96.79, as oil jumped to $93.59 a barrel after Venezuela threatened to halt crude sales to the United States.

Also in the oil patch, shares of Oilexco Inc OIL.TO soared after the company said it is considering speeding up development of its Huntington oil field in the North Sea. Oilexco, an oil explorer that concentrates its activities in the North Sea, rose C$2.36, or 18.5 percent, to C$15.12.

In the resource-laden materials sector, fertilizer producer Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO: Quote) was up C$6.85, or 5 percent, at C$144.27, and Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO: Quote) gained C$1.12, or 1.8 percent, to C$64.57.

"Energy and mining look pretty good for us," said Brian Pow, vice-president, research and equity analyst at Acumen Capital Partners in Calgary.   Continued...